What comes to your mind when you read the word “Romania”? Medieval castles? Horror stories? Vampires? Famous soccer players or gymnasts? Well, you should definitely add quality universities to your list because the Romanian higher education system has a lot of strengths!
Multilingual programs, affordable prices, transferable credits, and multicultural society are just a few of the characteristics. If you want to study abroad, Romania is one of the countries you should definitely consider since higher education institutions welcome international students by providing many advantages, including those that don’t come from other EU countries.
There are also nearly 100 universities from which you can choose, and many of them have programs completely taught in English at very affordable prices. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to study one or two semesters in another country or visit one of Romania’s neighbors during your holidays.
On this occasion, we prepared a detailed article about cheap Romanian universities to help you choose the best option.
Romania’s Higher Education System
Along with universities, Romania’s higher education system is also comprised of institutes, academies, colleges, and vocational schools. There are both public and private universities, which grant bachelor’s degrees, with a program duration of three years; master’s degrees, with a program duration of two years; and doctoral degrees, with a program duration of three years.
There are certain programs that could last longer, like engineering, and some combine the undergraduate and the graduate programs, which last for six years. These longer programs are usual for majors like medicine.
The higher education system is part of the ECTS, which is a credit transfer system that will allow you to easily transfer to other universities in Romania and in Europe.
Once you graduate, Romania offers Diploma Supplements (DS), which come in Romanian and English. On the transcript, they specify the details about your program and your performance. This will make things easier when applying to jobs back home or when applying to other universities to get a master’s or a Ph.D.
Admission Process at Romanian Universities
In order to be admitted, international students have to validate their high school diplomas, submit any required documents, and follow the extra steps listed by each university. These could be comprised of interviews, tests, essays, etc.
Non-EU citizens must go through these extra steps, which include obtaining an acceptance letter from the university and the Ministry of National Education. In addition, you will also have to make any necessary payments if applicable.
Completing the process can take about two months, so we suggest you start the application process as early as possible.
Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students
Tuition Fees of Romanian Universities
As usual, tuition fees will depend on the university, your major, and your nationality. On average, tuition fees usually go from 2,000 EUR to 5,000 EUR per year, which is around $2,200 and $5,500. Since you might be in need of financial aid, universities in Romania also prepared many scholarships for EU and non-EU citizens.
Costs of tuition are usually expressed per month and not per year, so you’ll have to multiply the quantities according to the number of months of your program, which are typically nine or ten. Some universities give students the option of paying in two or three installments instead of giving out the scholarship award in one lump sum.
There are majors like veterinary that could be more expensive. Also, tuition fees can vary according to your student year in many universities, which means that fees could increase or decrease after your first year.
Language of Instruction at Romanian Universities
Although you may already be interested in studying in Romania, chances are that you don’t actually know how to speak Romanian. Due to a high intake of international applicants, many universities in this country offer programs completely taught in English.
Additionally, a large proportion of Romania’s population speaks English, especially in the big cities, so you shouldn’t have any problems outside the classroom. If you still want to challenge yourself, universities offer Romanian language courses for international students so that you can learn the native language while studying abroad at a foreign institution.
Living Costs in Romania
Besides tuition and university fees, you have to include living costs in your budget. Luckily, Romania is one of the cheapest countries to live in among the European countries.
As it happens with the Czech Republic, Romania belongs to the European Union, but their official currency is the Romanian Leu (“lei” in plural), not the euro. It is abbreviated as RON. So, you may see many prices expressed in euros, but you’ll probably have to pay in lei. This could be confusing at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment could cost you between $250 and $350 per month, but many universities in Romania have students dormitories that cost only a fraction of private renting. Regarding food, you can expect to spend between $170 and $230 monthly. Since transportation is also affordable, the only cost that you have to worry about is the monthly pass, which cost around $16.
Cheap Universities in Romania
1. University of Bucharest (UB)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €2,000 (USD $2,200) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €2,000 (USD $2,200) Per Year
Established in 1864, the University of Bucharest (UB) is one of the oldest public universities in Romania. Prior to its transformation, it was the Saint Sava Academy, which was founded in 1694. UB belongs to the group of Romanian elite universities and was in the top 700 of the QS University World Ranking.
This university has 20 faculties and 5 departments that offer programs in both English and Romanian, and this institution also contains research institutes and a publishing house, which might be of interest to international applicants.
2. Babeș-Bolyai University (UBB)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From RON 2,000 (USD $450) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From RON 3,000 (USD $670) Per Year
Located in Cluj-Napoca, the Babeș-Bolyai University (UBB) was established in 1581 and is also part of the group of elite Romanian universities. It has ranked as the best university in terms of research and the impact on the job market.
This cheap university in Romania educates more than 41,000 students each year, and currently, this institution also houses five museums and dormitories that can accommodate nearly 6,000 students.
When it comes to academics, the UBB has 21 faculties that offer 242 programs in 5 different languages, which include Romanian, German, French, Hungarian, and English.
3. Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMF Cluj)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From RON 8,100 (USD $1,800) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From RON 6,000 (USD $1,330) Per Year
For those who are interested in the health field, the Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMF Cluj) grants degrees in different areas of medicine. This cheap university in Romania was established in 1919 and was originally part of Babeș-Bolyai University.
It has three faculties. First, there’s the Faculty of Medicine which has undergraduate programs in medicine, nursing, balneotherapy and recovery, and radiology and medical imaging. There, there’s the Faculty of Dentistry, which was the first one and is divided into four departments. And finally, there’s the Faculty of Pharmacy, which has 21 disciplines.
The first three years of the programs of medicine, pharmacy, and dental medicine are taught in English, Romanian or French. However, as students will have to attend seminars, communicate with patients and the personnel of hospitals, and complete their residencies, education starts to be in Romanian in the fourth year.
In addition, the university offers a language program to prepare international students who are willing to take courses in Romanian or French.
4. Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (UAIC)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €230 (USD $250) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €250 (USD $270) Per Year
The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (UAIC) is another public university that was founded in 1860, and due to its academic prowess, it is also a member of the Romanian elite group of universities.
It is comprised of 15 faculties and a Center for European Studies. Over 22,000 students receive their education here, and there are 80 research projects that are being currently worked on by graduates of UAIC. When it comes to their academic programs, they offer undergraduate and graduate programs in English and French.
5. Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €2,700 (USD $2,970) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €3,600 (USD $4,000) Per Year
The Bucharest University of Economic Studies is a public university in Romania that was established in 1913. It specializes in the fields of economy and business administration, and this institution has a great reputation as it is known for being a leader in preparing students for the job market.
When it comes to academics, the ASE has twelve faculties that offer programs in English, Romanian, German, and French. Due to its low tuition fees, Bucharest University of Economic Studies is regarded as a cheap university in Romania for international students.
6. POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From RON 4,000 (USD $890) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From RON 5,000 (USD $1,100) Per Year
The Politehnica University of Bucharest is the most important and best-ranked technical university in Romania. It was established in 1818 and is part of international organizations like the European University Association (EUA).
This public university has 15 faculties that offer 85 undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs, and it also has student dormitories with places for 14,000 students.
Among the 15 faculties, there’s the Faculty of Engineering Taught in Foreign Languages. They offer undergraduate programs in French, English, and German. However, they have a preparatory language program if you want to take a program in Romanian.
In addition, this cheap university in Romania offers scholarships for those who need financial help and internships to get professional experience while studying.
7. West University of Timișoara (UVT)
- Undergraduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €220 (USD $240) Per Year
- Graduate Tuition Fees: From EUR €240 (USD $260) Per Year
We finish our list with the most recently founded university. Established in 1962, the West University of Timișoara (UVT) is considered a research and academic university, and this institution is the fifth member of the Romanian elite group of universities.
It has 11 faculties where over 16,000 students are educated each year. These faculties offer 20 undergraduate programs in Romanian, English, French, and German, and master’s degree programs in English, Romanian and French. They also have research opportunities, with more than 100 projects.
Please keep in mind that those who want to take a program in Romanian have to pass a mandatory one-year language preparatory program or submit language proficiency certification.
I hope that this article on the cheap universities in Romania was helpful! If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.